What is BIOS Flashback and How to Use it?

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BIOS Flashback helps you to update to new or old motherboard UEFI BIOS versions even without a CPU or DRAM installed. This is used in conjunction with a USB drive and the flashback USB port on you rear I/O panel.

Do you have any doubts regarding BIOS Flashback? Then there is nothing to worry about, we have got your back. Follow the article till the end to clear every doubt regarding BIOS Flashback.

What is BIOS?

According to Wikipedia, “BIOS is the firmware used to perform hardware initialization during the booting process and to provide runtime services for operating systems and programs. The BIOS firmware comes pre-installed on a personal computer’s system board, and it is the first software to run when powered on.

What is BIOS Flashback?

The term ‘BIOS Flashback’ itself is explaining what it is. The English word Flashback means ‘set in a time earlier than the main story’, which simply means in tech is that go back to a specific version of any software. There may be several reasons behind this, like faulty current software, so going back to a stable version, etc. etc.

But these days people use it to upgrade to a higher version of BIOS software when they don’t have access to the GUI BIOS update. Like you bought a Ryzen 3000 series CPU and a B450 MoBo, and you come to know that the BIOS version of B450 doesn’t support Ryzen 3000 series. So, you will have to update to the latest BIOS version but at the same time, you don’t have access to the BIOS GUI updater. So, here comes the BIOS Flashback feature. You just have to download the latest version and you are good to go, just by connecting the Power Supply to the Motherboard.

BIOS Flashback

How to use BIOS Flashback?

BIOS Flashback is very easy nowadays. Just a few steps and you are good to go. Go through the below blocks for your brand of motherboard.

Before starting anything, make sure to read the manual and search for flashback port.

Note: Your USB device must be MBR. So, convert it from GPT to MBR.

GPT to MBR

  1. Back up or move all volumes on the basic GPT disk you want to convert into an MBR disk.
  2. Open an elevated command prompt by right-clicking Command Prompt and then choosing Run as Administrator.
  3. Type diskpart. If the disk contains no partitions or volumes, skip stepping 6.
  4. At the DISKPART prompt, type list disk. Note the disk number that you want to delete.
  5. At the DISKPART prompt, type select disk <disknumber>.
  6. At the DISKPART prompt, type clean.
  7. At the DISKPART prompt, type convert mbr.

Format USB as FAT32

  1. On the USB flash drive, right-click and select Format
  2. File system format, select FAT32
  3. And then click start.
  4. Formatting is complete.

MSI Motherboards

  • Download BIOS from the support page
  • Format USB drive (fat 32)
  • Put new BIOS on drive
  • Rename BIOS too ” MSI.ROM ”
  • Eject drive and turn off the system
  • Connect the motherboard to the power supply
  • Put the drive into the correct Flashback port
  • And press the button give it 5 mins to do its thing regardless

Note:

  • Locate the CMOS Battery, which is a button cell battery. Either short the two pins beside the battery labelled BAT1 for 5 to 10 seconds or remove the battery and wait at least 20 minutes before reinserting.
  •  If the LED flashes for less than 5 seconds, repeat the steps again, you might have done something wrong.

Asus Motherboards

  • Download the latest BIOS for your motherboard
  • Format USB/SD drive (fat 32)
  • And place the extracted BIOS file in the USB drive
  • Rename BIOS filename according to the motherboard model. Eg. R4E.ROM for Rampage IV Extreme, P9X79.ROM for P9X79 and etc. You may find the filename for your motherboard in the user manual
  • Plug the USB drive into the correct Flashback port
  • Press and hold the BIOS flashback button down for 3~5 seconds
  • Wait till the LED stops to blink, then the BIOS flash will be completed.

Note:

  • The constant lid of this LED rather than flash indicates the BIOS image cannot be found on the USB pen drive used. Please try and repartition the pen drive into FAT32/FAT16, and format, re-download the image, extract, rename and copy again to see if that helps.
  • The power button will not work until the completion of USB BIOS Flashback.

Gigabyte Motherboards

While writing this article, no Gigabyte MoBos support BIOS Flashback.

ASRock Motherboards

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While writing this article, no AsRock MoBos support BIOS Flashback.

Conclusion

That was it, if you follow the instructions successfully, you will be able to flash the BIOS without CPU.

Need more information about BIOS Flashback or have any doubts about it? Then comment down below, we will try to clear those doubts.


FAQs

Does My MoBO Support BIOS Flashback?

As of now Gigabyte and ASRock Motherboards don’t BIOS Flashback. If you have an Asus or MSI Motherboard, then follow the below link to get the list of supported Motherboards.
List 1, List 2, List 3

Do you need BIOS Flashback?

As I mentioned earlier, if you want to roll back or update to any BIOS version but you don’t have access to the GUI updater, then BIOS Flashback comes in handy.

How long does a BIOS Flashback take?

The USB BIOS Flashback process usually takes 1-2 minutes and maximum 3-5 minutes. The light staying solid means the process has completed or failed. 

What is the BIOS USB port?

The BIOS USB port is the port which is used for BIOS Flashback.

Can you flash a BIOS without a CPU?

Yes, that the whole point of the BIOS Flashback. You can flash BIOS without a CPU by using BIOS Flashback feature.

What is clear CMOS?

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Clearing the CMOS on your motherboard will reset your BIOS settings to their factory defaults.

 What is the “BIOS-FLBK” button for?

This enables you to update to new motherboard UEFI BIOS versions even without a CPU or DRAM installed. This is used in conjunction with a USB drive and the flashback USB port on you rear I/O panel.

Via 1, 2, 3, 4

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Stark
Stark
Shekhar Vaidya is a Blogger, a Web Developer, a CSE UG and a learner who’s learning about CS and programming. Being an introvert, he loves to write tech content instead of discussing it with others in an open stage. If he isn't writing about tech or programming, then most probably you will find him sleeping.

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